It was a bitter cold evening of the Chillai Kalan. A friend of mine had accompanied me and we were on our way back home. Suddenly, my eyes caught a noteworthy scene.
Shivering with cold, an old lady was sitting beside the bund of River Doodh Ganga. Her body appeared insensate as if the cold had numbed her senses.
I approached her, “Mouji, why are you sitting here?”
She glimpsed at my face, turned her head without even uttering a word.
For a couple of minutes, she was silent, but then she lost her patience and gave an anguishing cry,
“I am waiting for my son”, tears rolling down her sunken cheeks.
She screamed in agony as crushing pain seared through her heart,
“Myuon Nechu Morukh Begunnah” (my son was innocent, and he was killed)
Her words pierced me to the core.
Failure has shattered the hopes of the people of Kashmir.
At that time, all I could do was to assuage her grief, although I was completely aware that I was just giving her a fake consolation.
It was a little bit harder for me to mitigate the circumstances, but I somehow managed to take her out of the tranquil by engaging her in an immaterial conversation.
Bub had already arrived as it was Mouji’s routine to spend an hour or two, sitting on the bund, spending quiet time, trying to alleviate her pain.
And also a part of Bub’s schedule to retrieve her back home.
Finally, she calmed down, her chest heaving as she panted, her heart still pounding in her chest.
I decided to bid her a farewell, as it was too late and I was still far from my destination.
“Mouji, now give me a beautiful smile”, I asked her curiously.
“Smile?”,she replied in a voice of self-hatred and despair.
“My son was the reason of my happiness, my smile”
“I lost my son, I lost my smile”
Even though those words appeared to disappear instantly, but they actually still reverberate in my ears and foster resentment in me.
But being a Kashmiri,
All I could do was just to :
And just wander!
The views expressed are authors own.
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